02.17.10

Windows Phone 7 Falls on Its Face and Microsoft Still Wants Patent Royalties on Linux Phones

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, LG, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Samsung, Windows at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zune Mayday

Via OpenBytes

Summary: Microsoft disappoints many people with its announcement of a product that shows little progress; Microsoft’s plan B still relies on the Novell-inspired patent deals

“Microsoft made a phone, and I hate it already,” says this headline from The Register. It’s just an exercise in rebranding with “7″ because Windows Mobile in inherently poor.

Microsoft’s next mobile platform will probably make for nice mobile phones, but for those of us hankering after a mobile computer it’s just going to be annoying.

The former editor of Microsoft Watch, Joe Wilcox, is not impressed by Windows Phone 7, either.

“So what does Microsoft do to gain some more attention? On the face of it, fake hype.”Android and Linux (MeeGo and LiMo for example) are actually quite dominant in the news from the big event called Mobile World Congress and Apple is pretty much absent, except in its closed, echo chamber events. So what does Microsoft do to gain some more attention? On the face of it, fake hype.

Earlier this month we showed what appeared like fake "leaks" whose purpose was to create Windows Phone 7 hype. In order to increase audience size, Microsoft is possibly producing some more fake “leaks” and right now it claims that its site is down due to “unexpected” demand. It’s hard to believe that Microsoft lacks server capacity.

“Due to the unexpected number of click-thru’s to the Windows phone 7 Series website it’s decided to crash, will have it back up asap,” he said on his Twitter account about two hours ago.

Sounds like a potential fake. Our reader Omar Hafez says: “If Apple want to prove how really dumb they are, they would let MS’s new blatant cloning of the iPhone slip without the lawsuit.” Another reader writes about “what Gates really thought of the iPod”. He links to some Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, namely PX07255 and PX07219. This couple of exhibits are of interest in this context. These relate to recent comments on the iPhone — ones that came from Gates. If one reads the Comes documents, s/he can contrast that with his current utterances. A case of “temporal cognitive dyslexia” as our reader calls it? In Exhibit PX07255, one finds E-mails from 2003 where Jim Allchin and others bemoan Apple’s success and say: “There is no question we are being clocked by Apple in a number of dimensions.” In PX07219, Gates said about the iPod: “Warren Buffett just loves the thing.”

Gates is now saying: “So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.”

The translation of which can go like this (from our reader): “It’s not that Microsoft failed with their own clone of the iPhone, it’s that they didn’t aim high enough. Could’ve beat Apple if we tried… sour grapes anyone?”

The phone from Microsoft resembles Sidekick (an acquisition of Danger, former home of Android's brainchild), which we wrote about in:

Going back to Windows Phone 7, Glyn Moody jokes about Microsoft “building on the success of the *Zune*: only MS could do that”. The Zune was an utter disaster and Microsoft has just appointed new managers (the previous ones quit in droves) who are mostly unknown and inexperienced.

Version 7 of Windows Mobile may be as as insignificant as Windows Mobile 6.5. This is good news for the many Linux phones, which Microsoft is still trying to tax with software patents, as it already does in LG and Samsung. We will write about this on Saturday. In the mean time, here is an old reminder of how Microsoft uses the Novell deal to achieve this.

Qualified as “symbolic” by several editors of daily newspapers, the agreement signed by Microsoft and Novell on November 2, 2006 is indeed just such. But it doesn’t not make a good news for Free Software. Through buzzwords as “interoperability” or “open standards”, Microsoft managed to divert the journalists’ attention from the essence of the agreement: Microsoft only embraces Novell to try to suffocate better Free Software in general.

The first issue with this agreement is that Novell agrees to pay a tithe for the distribution of copies of popular free software containing code which supposedly falls under the purview of Microsoft patents. The Linux kernel and various pieces of software used on computer servers are concerned. In return, Novell obtains the guarantee that Microsoft will not pursue it, nor its customers. Developers contributing to OpenSuse, the community version of Novell’s commercial offer (Suse), as well as the voluntary free software developers, would also be authorized to contribute to the free programs listed in the agreement.

Jeremy Allison, a former Novell employee who left the company in protest against this deal, recently told the crowd in LCA 2010 that Microsoft would try to use those software patents to collect revenue from Linux phones [1, 2]. Microsoft cannot compete in phones, but it still strives to take away money from those who succeed.

Comes vs Microsoft Case Shows How Microsoft Actively Attacked Innovation

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Courtroom, Hardware, Microsoft at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Our friends up north [Microsoft] spend over five billion dollars on research and development and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.”

Steve Jobs, 2006

Summary: A look at some old quotes and court material shows that Microsoft not only failed to innovate but that it also chose to attack progress rather than embrace it and attempt to compete on/with it

YESTERDAY we wrote about Microsoft's attempts to portray itself as innovative after a former vice president had slammed the company for lack of innovation. People like Mary Jo Foley and Gavin Clarke go on with their Microsoft-boosting articles about “innovation”. It’s just a lot of spin, that’s what it really is.

The PR campaign of Bill Gates is currently trying to portray the man as an innovator, as opposed to what he has really been for decades: a plagiarist, a pillager, a violator of the law, and suppressor of innovation. GatesKeepers says:

After years of stifling innovation at Microsoft, why is it assumed that Bill Gates is competent to lead innovation worldwide?

This really requires some nerve. Oracle’s Larry Ellison, a friend of Steve Jobs, says that Microsoft’s business strategy is to “copy the product that others innovate, put them into Windows so they can’t be unplugged, and then give it away for free.” Sybase Chairman Mitchell Kertzman said that “Microsoft’s claims of succeeding through innovation are a complete fraud. Their only innovation has been in inventing predatory business practices. Other than that, they have been perhaps the greatest borrowers in the history of the software industry.”

Robert Pogson has this new post about how Microsoft hindered innovation, based on a Comes vs Microsoft exhibit:

Isn’t that interesting? While M$ was telling the world it was innovative, it was looking at ways to stifle the competition and to sell consumers stuff they did not need. Note that M$ felt pressure from sub $1000 PCs in 1997. How must they be sweating with PCs at $100-$300 and M$ have raised prices again? Well, the higher-priced units are not selling. The lower-priced units are having to cut prices to compete. That means the cash cow is drying up. Do you really need a quad-core CPU and video card that can do 200 frames per second 3D? Do you see competition in the market or do you see OEMs, Intel and M$ colluding to keep prices high? This year, OEMs will be under a lot of pressure to dump M$ because ARM will sell and do it all without the OEMs and without M$. To keep moving units, OEMs will have to cut prices. Hardware is already at rock-bottom, so the cut will have to come in software. Good-bye M$. Hello GNU/Linux.

Business basically buys no-OS PCs in bulk and writes disc images to them or uses thin client technology. They really have no need for the M$ tax to raise their cost of acquisition. Businesses compete. If the competition adopts GNU/Linux and thin clients, others will follow. It’s happening.

The post above contains an exhibit which illustrates that without doubt, Microsoft is hindering progress in order to protect its interests. Pogson has another new post where he includes a Comes vs Microsoft exhibit, this time about NetPC which Microsoft attacked with the help of Gartner.

They were a little ahead of their time because Java was new and networks and servers dragged but people still call thin clients dumb terminals because of the FUD spread by M$ and its partners. You can see part of the story in these summaries of M$’s campaigns about the time of Lose ‘98. That is a document produced as evidence in Comes v M$ and it shows that not only did the NC have a few problems of its own, M$ actively connived with its partners to dig a hole and bury the NC. I will use that document in a grade 9 class outlining the history of the PC. The students will be using network computers/thin clients so they will know FUD when they see it. These are not dumb terminals or Java-based thin clients but regular X terminals showing the pictures and sending the clicks to a powerful machine built four years after the FUD campaign. The NC works.

There is also an HTML version of the exhibit/s.

“Microsoft, a rather new corporation, may not have matured to the position where it understands how it should act with respect to the public interest and the ethics of the marketplace.”

U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin

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